Archive for October, 2015

Scoresheet Retrospective and Keeper Help

Last week we took a look at my Ottoneu build, and this week I’d like to take a look at the recap from another successful season in Scoresheet.

I play in the BP Kings league — which has Baseball Prospectus roots — and have put together some pretty solid seasons. Here’s a look back at the season-ending standings for as long as I’ve been in the league.

2015 – Wasted Aces – 95-67 (tied for 1st)
2014 – Four Aces and a Nolasco – 95-67 (2nd)
2013 – new Warne order – 76-86 (tied for 2nd)
2012 – Warne – 76-86 (3rd)
2011 – Warnhardt Dynasty – 68-94 (last) Read the rest of this entry »

Four Dynasty First Base Targets

First base prospects are probably the easiest to analyze for fantasy and dynasty purposes. At other positions, particularly up the middle, we’re left to guess future production. Some guys grow, some just adjust well to major league pitcher (Joe Panik), and others linger for years before flashing upside (Zack Cozart). Unlike those skilled positions, a player does not become a first base prospect if he’s not already demonstrating serious talent at the plate.

With that in mind, let’s talk about my four favorite first base prospects. Three of these guys are adjacent to the majors which means they’re owned in any self-respecting dynasty league. This article isn’t about guys you can find for free, it’s meant to highlight the biggest up-and-coming names at the position.

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Mitch Moreland’s Career Month

Mitch Moreland had a career year in 2015. He only matched his previous high in home runs (23), but his AVG, OBP, SLG, 2B, and RBI totals were all the best of his six-year career. He only needed 132 games to set a new high in AB with 471, but his 515 PA were actually only second-highest for him. Was it real? Can he repeat or even grow as he enters his age-30 season?

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Prospect Positional Review: Third Basemen

In or around last year’s holiday season I wrote a piece for FanGraphs+ that ranked the Top 50 Fantasy Prospects for 2015 by position. Because it’s in the middle of the offseason, it’s often an exercise in futility to properly project playing time for rookies — especially considering the large number of free agent signings and trades that have yet to take place. It’s quite fun, nonetheless, and still serves as a good starting point for understanding who might be turn into a unexpectedly valuable fantasy player for the coming year.

And with every preview, must come a review. With the regular season now behind us and the heart of the postseason underway, I present to you a review of the projected Top 50 Fantasy Prospects for 2015. I’ve already written about the catchers, first basemen and of the second basemen. Today, it’s the freshmen at the hot corner.

Actual Weighted Runs Created (wRC+) Results
151 — Miguel Sano, Twins
136 — Kris Bryant, Cubs
130 — Jung-Ho Kang, Pirates
128 — Maikel Franco, Phillies
116 — Matt Duffy, Giants

Marc’s Top 5
1. Kris Bryant, Cubs
2. Kyle Kubitza, Angels
3. Miguel Sano, Twins
4. Yasmany Tomas, D-Backs
5. Jake Lamb, D-Backs

Honorable Mentions
Colin Moran, Astros
Joey Gallo, Rangers

The 2015 might one day be known as ‘The Year of the Third Basemen’ considering how many impressive rookies took to the hot corner in 2015.

Sano spent most of the year as the Twins’ designated hitter but since he’s a natural third baseman I’ve included him here (He spent nine games at the position in ’15). The rookie doesn’t have quite as well rounded of a game as Kris Bryant but the power is prodigious and he should develop into a 30+ home run guy (if not 40+). The big question with Sano, though, is whether or not he can trim the strikeout rate that surpassed 35% in 2015. His BABIP of almost .400 (because he hits the ball so damn hard) shield the effects of the K-rate. How hard does he hit the ball? He was third in the Majors in percent of hard hit balls behind Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins and Greg Bird of the Yankees.

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MASH Report (10/29/15)

• My major accomplishment this week was to get the 2015 disabled list information finalized for public use. Let know if any of the information is incorrect or missing.

Edwin Encarnacion had hernia surgery as soon as the Blue Jays were out of the playoffs. Reports say he will be 100% for spring training.

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Paul Gold Standard

Entering the season, Mike Trout was the consensus first overall pick. Paul Goldschmidt was part of an elite crew under consideration for the second selection. There was some wariness over the hand injury that ended his 2014 season, but it turns out there was no cause for concern. He posted a monstrous 103/33/110/21/.321 roto-season. According to our (not-so) esoteric maths, he was the most valuable first baseman at a hair under $37.

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Going for Broke While Saving for the Future in ottoneu

Last week, Brandon Warne reviewed his FanGraphs Staff League ottoneu team, and noted my second place team (man, I hate typing that) was a hard-to-explain $295 over the cap, pre-arbitration.

A commenter wondered “how badly CY mortgaged the future with that payroll.” I responded that I didn’t, really – but the question is, how? Every year, ottoneu owners go for broke, swapping their farm for elite talent, assuming the next step is a rebuild. This is my look at how spent big but feel set to reload rather than rebuild.

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Reviewing Steamer and I: Jose Abreu

For the first time this year, I decided to compare my Pod Projections to Steamer and discuss the players we disagreed on most. Of the hitters we both projected, it was clear I was much more optimistic than Steamer on the whole. However, for Jose Abreu I was actually significantly more pessimistic.

In the review of this series, I will be including my original Pod Projection, and Steamer counting stat projections extrapolated over the same number of plate appearances that I had projected. However, I included Steamer’s actual PA projection in that column. Also included are the player’s 2015 stats, plus the counting stats extrapolated over the number of PA I projected.

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Kendrys Morales: Surprisingly Valuable

Once upon a time (aka 2009), Kendrys Morales was a breakout first base prospect at the age of 26. He popped 34 home runs, drove in 108 runs, and hit for a .306 average in 611 plate appearances. He was on pace to do much the same in 2010 until a home run celebration prematurely ended his season. And the next one.

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Miguel Cabrera’s Power Dips Again

Miguel Cabrera hasn’t just been one of baseball’s best hitters over the last ten years, he has also remained amazingly consistent. As fantasy owners, we’re used to our top picks disappointing us, but Cabrera has never posted a wOBA below .374 in a full season. And yet, this was a season of firsts for Cabrera, which despite an above his career average .413 wOBA, resulted in a loss for all those who paid top dollar for his services on draft day.

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